Tag Archives: virtualbox

Crashing, teleporting and syncing Virtualbox

I’ve been playing around with Virtualbox over the last few days, trying to set it up just right for me. One of the hurdles was working around a bug in the 3.0.0 release that caused guests to crash when performing downloads in them. Changing the virtual network card from “PCnet-FAST III” to “Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop” proved to be a good temporary solution, but the bug got squashed in version 3.0.2.

Next on my list was getting the “shared folder“, which I configured in Virtualbox (look ma, no samba), to automount in my Ubuntu-guest with read-write permissions for my non-root user. I ended up adding this line to /etc/fstab (the dmode and fmode-options did the trick eventually):

teleporter /home/frank/Desktop/teleporter vboxsf rw,dmode=777,fmode=777,uid=1000,gid=1000,auto 0 0

And to wrap things up I also installed the Mozilla Labs Weave-plugin, which syncs a.o. bookmarks and passwords in Firefox between my 3 environments. It caused me some headaches at first, synchronizing just seemed to take forever and no error was shown in the frontend. But I found some obscure messages (things like “Exception caught from onComplete handler of CryptoWrap__decrypt-57 generator”) in the verbose log and Google linked those to a post on the Weave Google Group which explained that the problem was with an incorrect “encryption passphrase”. And sure enough Weave was syncing happily after once I re-entered my -too complex- passphrase.

‘Cause I’m free, to do what I want, any old time

Freedom comes in many shapes and forms, but give me a computer which is not burdened by corporate software and enforced group policies and give me internet access that is not limited by proxies that prohibit you from using half of the web and I’m a happy little futtta. I cracked the proxy thingie problem at work some time ago already, but the computer/OS-part remained an issue up until now. I tried virtualization with VMWare and Qemu but wasn’t convinced and booting into my “disktop” (Ubuntu 8.04 intalled on an USB-connected external HD) while at work was far from efficient, so I kept jerking around in the uninviting environment which is the maimed Windows XP we have to put up with here.

But some time ago my laptop got a memory upgrade (from 1 to 2 Gb) and last week Paul Cobbaut wrote about Virtualbox on his blog. I installed this example of German craftsmanship (both a “free as in beer” and an open source version are available, version 3 was just released a few hours ago!) and my computer hasn’t been the same since. I’m now running a fullscreen (guest additions rock) Virtualbox virtual machine with Ubuntu 9.04, using an openssh-provided (with some help from corkscrew, off course) socks-proxy for unlimited internet access and I feel like a kid that has just been allowed in a playground.

a screenshot of virtualbox 3 on windows xp

Next to Ubuntu, I also installed Opensolaris (which seems to need a shitload of RAM) and a leaked version of the emulator of that much anticipated (well, by me at least) Palm WebOS. On my disktop I installed the Linux-version of Virtualbox and I’ve got OS-weirdness such as ReactOS, Haiku and Syllable running there. Hell, maybe I’ll even install (a clean version of) Windows XP in a virtual machine there, just to make it full circle. ‘Cause I’m free!

Soup Dragons – "I'm Free"

Watch this video on YouTube.